Seattle, otherwise known as the Emerald City, is one of the Northwest’s great hiking cities. In the city itself, there are plenty of places to get your hike on — in the surrounding areas, even more so. If you are about to embark on a hike in or around Seattle, here is some information that you might want to know.
How Far Are the Trails?
Fortunately for avid hikers who live in Seattle (or are just visiting), good hiking trails are never far away. In fact, some of the best places to hike, like Discovery Park, are right in Seattle proper. Other hikes lie just a stone’s throw away from the city. For example, the area around Snoqualmie Pass, which features several hiking trails including Rattlesnake Ledge, Little Si and Mount Si, is an excellent place to hike and can be reached in just over an hour. Other nearby hiking areas include Whidbey Island, Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic Peninsula area. These are all just a couple of hours away from Seattle. You can reach any one of them by car, and they’re excellent to hike whether you’re going solo or with a group of your favorite hiking buddies.
Getting Out of the City
If you're trying to get out of the city, avoiding some of the more congested intersections can help avoid any accidents while you're downtown. These include Denny Way between First and Fairview Avenues, Mercer Street from Seattle Center to I-5 and I-5 through downtown. Due to the amount of traffic in these areas, the probability of encountering car accidents is high. Avoiding these areas helps you avoid the delay caused by accidents and possibly avoid getting in a crash yourself.
If you’re going to take a hike, you’ll want to keep some safety tips in mind before you set out on one of the trails in or around Seattle. First, check out the trail and its conditions. If you’re a novice hiker, you don’t want to overdo things. For example, you don’t want to hike on a difficult trail in inclement weather conditions. Second, let someone know where you’re going. If anything happens to you, there will be someone who knows that you’re out who can send help if necessary. Finally, don’t forget to bring along the hiking essentials, like food and water, extra clothing, a map and a first aid kit. A GPS device and a lighter are also handy to have around. Other useful items include sunscreen and sunglasses, rain gear, a wide-brimmed hat for sunny days and a knit cap for when the temperatures go down.
Hiking in the Seattle area allows you to conquer volcanoes like Mt. Rainier, experience pristine lakes, and enjoy some of the most beautiful sights in the world. Planning your hike ahead of time, including making accommodations and plans for road and trail safety, helps make sure that you’ll enjoy your hike and keep possible dangers to a minimum.
It’s important to make sure you’re appropriately outfitted for your hike. Check out our selection of hiking clothing before your next adventure.